01 January

Events Get Technical To Beat Recession

The British Meetings and Events Industry Survey has cast light on the effects of a struggling economy on the events industry. The survey’s findings reveal a reduction in both number of events and attendee numbers across the board. However, the survey has also revealed that as physical meetings have dwindled events organisers have come to rely more on high-tech solutions such as social media and virtual meetings to bridge the gap.More than 50 per cent of each sector are now using social media to communicate with delegates during and after meetings. Technology such as QR codes, apps and location aware software are also becoming increasingly prevalent in the organisation of events. Despite this, 72% of organisers believe social media and virtual events could never replace face-to-face meetings.

Organisers have come to prefer smaller venues, and shorter events, shying away from multi-purpose venues and purpose-built convention centres. The survey found that this could be down to changes in the types of events being held. AGMs are decreasing, with companies hosting more management meetings, conferences, communication and training events.

The Headline Statistics:

• The mean number of attendees at associations’ main annual conference dropped from 418 to 380. The mean number of attendees at corporates’ main event dropped from 345 to 330.
• The preferred venues for both corporates (37 per cent) and associations (25 per cent) were city centre hotels.
• The average budgeted daily delegate rates dropped from £47.40 to £42.50 for associations; and from £58.90 to £54.50 for corporates.
• The top UK destinations for events were (in order) London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Bristol.
• Preferred booking incentives were added value items within agreed costs, followed by discounts on multiple bookings.
• 25 per cent of association buyers organised events overseas, preferring France, Italy and Germany short-haul, USA, Dubai, China and Hong Kong long-haul.
• 45 per cent of corporate buyers organised events overseas, preferring Spain, France and Germany short haul; USA, Dubai, China and Hong Kong long-haul.
• 46 per cent of association buyers and 42 per cent of corporate buyers felt that current economic policy was having a negative effect on their organisation’s activities.
• 72 per cent of association buyers and 70 per cent of corporates did not attend a trade show
• 71 per cent of association buyers and 68 per cent of corporates think networking is the most important aspect of attending events.
• Anticipated change in budget for the next 12 months: associations + 0.6 per cent; corporates + 0.8 per cent

The British Meetings & Events Industry Survey provides an in-depth study of the buying trends of 632 UK-based event organisers. Results are based on online completions and telephone interviews. To view the survey’s findings in full visit www.meetpie.com/bmei

If you would like any more information on holding an event at any of our prestigious venues including the Mermaid Conference and Events Centre (pictured) please contact us on 0845 688 4410 or email us.

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